UK-founded ecommerce conversion company Ve has been forced to expand outside of the UK due to a skills shortage in the country.
The company has opened a major new office in Madrid and an engineering hub in Bilbao due to the shortage of highly-skilled developers in London. The Madrid office will employ 25 people and 60 developers will be hired in Bilbao by March, with more than 200 applications for each position in Bilbao been received since the decision to move was made.
With the digital economy growing exponentially over the past decade in the UK, the IT skills shortage has become notably acute. The Chartered Institute for IT noted the tendency for British firms to outsource developer roles some time ago and has called on changes to be made to plug this gap and avoid the UK falling behind other economies that have been more adaptive to change.
However, as the economy picks up and recruitment soars in information technology industries, the skills gap is becoming increasingly notable. Ve’s move to Spain follows the opening of an office in Tokyo and the acquisition of digital advertising agency GDM Digital and data science company qunb in November. The Bilbao engineering hub will initially work on integrating ecommerce platforms into Ve’s suite of apps.
David J. Brown, CEO and co-Founder of Ve, said: “We decided to open a new office in Madrid due to the high demand from online retailers for technology that helps to maximise customer conversions. Online retailing is a fast-growing sector in Spain, despite wider economic difficulties.
“The move into Bilbao is a reflection of both the huge pool of talent in the area and the relative skills shortage in London. Our initial thought was to open a development centre in London, however, there simply aren’t enough skilled staff currently available to fill the roles we needed quickly. The problem is that universities aren’t producing enough relevantly skilled students to meet the demand of the UK’s tech sector and a great deal of talent is being drained by the financial sector.”